Monday, August 15

Never Work for Free

 "Education is the ability to meet life's situations." - Fortune Cookie

As an artist, being asked to work for free is something that I deal with all the time. Which is very frustrating, because I don't understand why anyone would even ask. Surprisingly, it's the companies that do it the most! Free samples and art tests are common; sometimes even mandatory for an artist. I disagree, your body of work IS the "sample", which should speak for itself; and I find that this is getting much worse because of the recession. People need jobs, and the corporations know this, so it is easy to get free work. Harlan Ellison says it best in this video here:

A Clip from Dreams with Sharp Teeth 
(I highly recommend watching the full documentary as well)

I love this message and he's such a character! I truly believe in what his saying. Any type of work should be compensated. So stand your ground when it comes down to it, and just remember that there is always something better right around the corner. A respectful employer or client is always worth the wait and will pay you what you are worth.



  1. Sweet- when I have some tie I will have to watch, I love his stuff. Some of my all-time favorite short stories were written by him, and his cantankerousness is legendary. Read Jeffty is Five for a cool sample.
    I sometimes wish there were a feedback system on DeviantArt like on ebay, because as a commissioner of arts who always pays in advance, I would like to both have the respect earned from that (so people know I am trustworthy) but also a few times I never recieved art paid for. Be nice to have that on record without just calling folks out on journals or whatever. And even for stuff like timeliness, sometimes it's over a year before you get what you paid for, which I find a little disrespectful. Well, I think I've deviated from your main topic.

  2. Yeah, he's awesome.

    I just read "Jeffty is Five" tonight, thanks, it was great. I liked it. He has a very distinct style of writing.

    That's really too bad about your commissioned artwork. I have been on both ends of that as well. Paid for something and never got it; and also commissioned to create something and never got paid. So now, I only do all up front payments because of my own experience. I have NEVER been late on a commission though. Most of the time I even deliver early. So I hear you about disrespect; I always think people will be kind and then I'm shocked when they aren't. :(

  3. After following you here and on dA I feel as if I know you somewhat more than most artists I "know" and I really believe you when you say you are never late on commissions. And yup, I hear that: I always think people will be kind and then I'm shocked when they aren't.

  4. Thanks so much Nathan. I appreciate all your messages. I really do. *hugs*


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